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The Christmas Thread

  1. Nov 25, 2007 #1

    Evo

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    You can post anything to do with Christmas/Hannukah/Yule Goats, etc... here. No religious preaching, we're talking Santa and reindeer, elves, goats, socks and chocolate coins, ok?

    To start off, since my favorite video was deleted from youtube thanks to a company that misses the point of free advertisement, I want to start off with my favorite song set to holiday lights.

    Let the lights and music begin...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbFIt3V5AxQ&feature=related
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2007 #2
    More light and music



    4 El Divo's dreaming



    Helmut Lotti wishing a Merry Christmas

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Nov 25, 2007 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I got the best news EVER when my sister told me that the kids all want gift certificates this year.

    Thank God!!! No more sorting through pages of toys that I know nothing about!!! YAY!!!!

    I recently posted a quote from Mark Shields who said that you can go to Toys-R-Us and purchase either leaded or unleaded toys this year.
     
  5. Nov 25, 2007 #4

    Evo

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    I'm glad I don't have anyone to buy for this year. The girls just want money.
     
  6. Nov 25, 2007 #5
  7. Nov 25, 2007 #6

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: My nephew is getting books and crayola products this year. It's the only two things I could find still made in the US with labels that say "non-toxic" that I actually believe. I suspect this will lead to a demotion from the "favorite aunt" category, but that last recall of the GHB-laced beads sealed my decision to limit my purchases to sources I can trust.

    Now if I could just convince my parents and grandmother that we're all too old to believe in Santa anymore, and it's really okay if we DON'T exchange gifts anymore, just focus on the little kids, I'd really be happy.
     
  8. Nov 25, 2007 #7

    turbo

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    My wife and I concentrate on food, friends, games, and conversation. I won't have too much stuff to link to, but if folks want to talk about recipes, games, etc, I'll jump in. I'm an agnostic (raised Catholic) and pretty early I learned to hate commercial Christmas AND the stuff pushed by organized religion.
     
  9. Nov 25, 2007 #8

    Evo

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    I just love decorating, the lights, the food.

    So post pictures, recipes, stories and videos.
     
  10. Nov 25, 2007 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Tsu and I used to go to bed on Christmas Eve, say around 1 AM, and lie there as if we were going to sleep. After twenty minutes or a half hour, one of us would get up and play Santa. Then, after that person returned to bed, the other would get up and play Santa. After that person returned to bed, we would get up and open our presents...usually by 2 AM. :biggrin:
     
  11. Nov 25, 2007 #10

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: That's cute. I have a hard time sneaking Ember's prezzies into her stocking without her seeing me doing it...she never returns the favor. :uhh: Then again, considering her limited options for gifts she could offer me, maybe that's a good thing. I'm not sure I want to wake up Christmas morning to a pile of dead spiders or flies. :yuck:

    I already have my house all decked out for Christmas. I LOVE Christmas decorations. Being in a townhouse, I avoid putting out lights outside...other neighbors put up some, but I'm not really sure what the tolerable limit is, so I just play it safe and keep my decorations outside limited to a wreath on the door and some ornaments on the dogwood tree out front, but inside is all decked out! :biggrin:

    Ember seems to have decided not to climb the tree now that it's decorated. I'm not sure if that's going to last or not. Last year she thought it was covered in toys for her to pick off, but she still has the beanbag snowman ornament she claimed last year (it's still her favorite, even if it's looking pretty tattered now...not sure what I'll replace it with when she finally kills it and spills the beans out of it).
     
  12. Nov 26, 2007 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Egg nog. I love egg nog.

    My mother used to make my favorite cookies at Christmas - no-peek cookies.

    http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1810,155185-248197,00.html

    The other thing that I always loved was very dark fudge [no nuts]. Give me a gallon of egg nog and a pound of fudge and I'll probably be in a diabetic coma by sunset. :biggrin:
     
  13. Nov 26, 2007 #12

    wolram

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    It is going to be a dull Christmas for me, i am working, i wish people would make their own deserts over the holiday.
     
  14. Nov 26, 2007 #13

    Astronuc

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    Feel free to buy me something. I wouldn't want you to feel deprived. :biggrin:
     
  15. Nov 26, 2007 #14

    Astronuc

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    Yes - EGGNOG!!!! I love eggnog, and I probably put on few pounds because to that. We buy it by the half gallon, and unfortunately, it's only available between mid-November to New Years. I guess they don't want 'to spoil it with too much of a good thing.'

    My mom used to make Christmas pudding, and I'll have to get her recipe. We've made a fruit and nut cake/bread.

    Christmas dinner is much like a repeat of Thanksgiving - usually with a ham rather than turkey. I think we did goose one year.
     
  16. Nov 26, 2007 #15
    The gift exchanging season. (The gift giving season ends with childhood.)

    The secular holiday has so drowned out the religious one that we now have the theater of 'the war on Christmas', the implication that attacks on the secular holiday are attacks on the religious one. My comments below refer only to the secular one.

    My wife has been hinting (with a sledgehammer) for years that she wants a Fossil bag. I have no objection to such a desire and we have often gone shopping for just such a bag. As you know, women shop, men buy. Here we are, four or five years into the project and still no bag, just a lot of shopping. Fossil bags are expensive compared to what you can get at Wal-Mart, but compared to other name brands, they are not that bad, under $150. Some other name brand bags run into the thousands of dollars. On Black Friday we were in the mall along with a million other first minute shoppers and as usual, spent some time looking at bags. As usual, nothing was purchased. Then last night, she went to Wal-Mart on her own and came back with a spanking new $20 bag. I believe that over the years she has spent more on these cheapo bags than the cost of a single Fossil bag.

    As I am a hedonist, it is against my nature to buy or receive gifts during the holiday season. If I want something, I want it NOW, not on the morning of Dec. 25, and I expect the same from others. Every year I tell myself, just buy a Fossil bag, any Fossil bag, and give it to her. But I wouldn't want anyone to do that to me. If I waver over buying something for myself it is because I don't really want it. Or because I am dissatisfied with the available selection and am waiting for just the right thing. If someone bought me something that wasn't just the thing I wanted, what a waste that would be. Like the gift of the Magi by O Henry, except that we can afford it.

    Even so, I still buy gifts for the kids to be received on the first night of Hannukah. I can't explain why I do this. They want the gift, and I want them to have it. But I make them wait till the gift-giving season to get it. It makes even less sense when you realize that the connection between the gift-giving/exchanging holiday and Hannukah is even more tenuous than with Christmas. They'll be adults in a few more years and this madness will come to an end.

    I hope you get what you want and give what is wanted today, on Christmas, and every day of the year.
     
  17. Nov 26, 2007 #16
    Christmas stories

    Christmas quotations

    hmmm
    But then again:
     
  18. Nov 26, 2007 #17

    matthyaouw

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  19. Nov 26, 2007 #18

    Integral

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    bah humbug
     
  20. Nov 26, 2007 #19

    turbo

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    A holiday favorite is a game called "Zonk". To play, you need a cup and 5 dice and a sheet of paper and a writing implement for scoring. The rules are simple, so everyone can play with just a little initial coaching, and you can play with 2 people to as many as you wish to cram around the table. You can throw the dice as many times as you want, as long as you manage to save out at least one scoring die each turn. If you get score on all your dice you must take up all the dice and start shaking and rolling again. If at any time you roll the dice and get no scoring dice, you just "Zonked out" and your score for that turn is 0.

    Scoring:
    Ones are worth 100 points each.
    Fives are worth 50 points each.
    Three of a kind rolled in any single roll scores 100x the value (three 4's = 400 pts), except for Ones - three ones rolled in a single toss = 1000 points.
    You cannot score triples that are accumulated over more than one roll.
    Additional points rolled with each triple are added according to their value as a single die - for instance, rolling four 1's in a single roll scores as 1100 (1000 for the triple and 100 for the other single 1) and rolling three 4's and a 5 in a single roll scores as 450 using the same rule.
    A straight rolled in a single toss (1,2,3,4,5 or 2,3,4,5,6) is worth 1500 pts.

    Remember that if you have scored on all of your dice, you MUST take up all the dice and start rolling again. This sets you up for the dreaded Straight-Zonk combo, in which you have accumulated 1500 pts and must roll again, only to get no scoring die and lose your points. In one particularly heart breaking game, I pulled of a VERY rare Straight, picked up all the dice, rolled another Straight, picked up all the dice again and rolled a Zonk, wiping out my accumulated 3000 points.

    There are variations of this game. The way we play is to set the bar high for entry. You must accumulate 500 points before you can "get on the board" and have your points tallied. If you fail to accumulate 500 points in your turn, you get no score. After you have once accumulated 500 points in one turn, you are "on the board" you can stop and take your accumulated score on successive turns when you have accumulated a total of only 350 points. Note that two 1's and three 5's (rolled individually or doubles, not triple in a single roll) add up to 350 points, but you cannot take this score because all the dice have been used to score, so you must pick up all the dice and continue rolling until you either Zonk or you elect to take your accumulated score.

    To begin the game, every person rolls one die, and the lowest score (1 is low for this purpose, though it is the high, scoring die during the game) rolls first. The first person to roll is in a disadvantageous position, because every person gets the same number of rolls. If you are the first to roll and you manage to hit 5000 points or more, every other person gets to throw caution to the wind and take risks in order to try to surpass your score. Being the last person to play is best, because if you manage to hit or pass 5000 first, nobody else gets to roll again. You Win - Game Over.

    A bit of strategy: you can set aside all scoring dice on every roll, if you wish, but most experienced players (if they did not get a triple on their first roll) will set aside only one 1 or 5 and roll the remaining four dice to maximize their chances of getting a triple on their second roll. Whether to continue this gambit into the third roll is up to the situation and the mind-set of the player. Obviously, saving a 5 and subsequently rolling a triple 6 for a total of 650 points is a pretty good thing.

    A note on sportsmanship and decorum: It's OK to chant "Zonk, Zonk" when a person with a high score (or who is trying to follow up on a Straight, for instance) is about to roll. Children may initially get pouty when you do this, but it's good for their character to be considered a threat by adult players.

    I hope some of you try this game. It's a fun ice-breaker when there are a few newcomers in the group because it is easy to play, and kibitzers will help newcomers avoid costly mistakes like overlooking a straight thrown on the first roll.
     
  21. Nov 26, 2007 #20
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